Bees and toads

I can only get to the allotment once per week but it changes so much with each visit. My courgettes are cropping in abundance. I’m not sure what to do with them all. I also got my first tomatoes and cucumbers of the season.

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I have heaps and heaps of kale. More than we could ever eat.

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There are so many insects there. I never use any poisons at home or the allotment. Even herbicides are harmful to bees because herbicides kill nectar-producing plants. Is it really necessary to kill every dandelion? Why not leave a few for the bees? I have a lot of borage in my garden and at the plot; the bees love it.

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I’ve also got lots of ladybugs.

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Why do people choose to create a monoculture of one species when they could have a variety of different species and a much more enriching environment? Someone I work with told me his wife works in a garden centre and she said that people just want to kill everything. It’s so strange and rather sad.

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Sadly, it wasn’t all good news at the plot. I found a toad corpse. He got tangled in the netting I use to protect the kale from birds. He must have had a horrible death. I felt awful. I cut him free and buried him. Whenever I see sea creatures tangled in fishing line I always feel a bit virtuous knowing that by not eating seafood I’m not contributing to that suffering.  However this toad’s death is entirely my fault.

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What else I could use to protect my kale without harming the wildlife? A fine mesh perhaps? I’m using a jute netting for my beans and I like it much more than the plastic stuff because it will biodegrade. It also has a bit of flexibility to it so I think it’s probably unlikely to strangle the wildlife. But maybe there’s something better?

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12 Replies to “Bees and toads”

  1. Your allotment is certainly productive and yes I agree, it is much better to have a diversity of plants and insects; after all Nature knows what she is doing in making little ecosystems.
    Sorry to hear about the toad. Maybe you could try some shading instead? I don’t know if you have it there, but is is a very fine green cover.

    1. Yes, you can buy that green shade cloth here too. I’m definitely going to look at other options and I’ll have to find a way to safely dispose of this netting. Even at landfill it can probably kill.

      1. We had a few frogs that my girls had nurtured from tadpoles. The biggest one, Elvis, decided that the swimming pool was going to be his new pond, despite the chlorine. Time and again I rescued him and put him back in his pond, only to see him again sitting on the pool hose. I eventually found him drowned in the outlet pipe where he had got a leg caught. Tears shed by us all!
        As to plastic I think the next great scientific invention has got to be a suitable replacement that not only biodegrades timeously, but is completely safe and non toxic to life.

      2. I’m so sorry to hear about your little frog. I can imagine all the tears there must have been. This was the first time I’ve seen a toad at the plot. I hope there are more of them.

        Ditto to the replacement for plastic. What a dreadful invention plastic has turned out to be.

  2. Courgettes can be used in bread making, salads (much nicer than cucumber) and more – must be loads of stuff online. We cut up things like netting, plastic rings holding cans together etc so it won’t trap anything, plus knot plastic wrappers. We don’t mind sharing crops with wildlife either. Strangely enough our bumper crop of raspberries and alpine strawberries have hardly been touched. They both just turned up a few years back.

    1. We put courgettes in cakes 🙂 I also make a really nice vegan lasagne with courgette and eggplant.

      Anything that’s plastic and forms a ring should be cut before being disposed of. We also do the same here which makes disposing of the netting even harder. I’m going to have to totally shred it. I have tried not using the bird netting but the pigeons decimate it. here’s what happened to it. There was nothing for us to pick at all.

      I also have alpine strawberries and don’t use any netting for it. Strangely the birds aren’t interested.

  3. Your garden looks amazing. As someone who is so bad at growing things, I’m doubly amazed that you’ve managed to keep on top of the weeds and pests using environmentally friendly methods. Sorry to hear about the toad, but at least you are sorting the problem out for other wildlife.

    1. Thank you! If you could see the other plots at the allotment you’d see mine is not that great compared to all the others. However many plot-holders are retirees who have time to spend there everyday. I would do the same if I could.

  4. Can I recommend chocolate chip courgette cakes. Sorry about frog, I was working at my desk the other day when a chicken ran past the window, with three more hens in hot pursuit, the leader had a frog in its beak! We try our best.

    1. I have a recipe for a courgette chocolate cake and it’s delicious. Haven’t tried it with chocolate chips though but that sounds even better. Sorry to hear about your frog! I’m amazed it could fit in the chicken’s beak

  5. I’ve read of onions being grown covered in other plants & surviving well. Courgette filled savoury pancakes? Also have Alpine strawberries & raspberries untouched. Quite happy to share stuff with nature’s scavengers most of the time too.

    1. I ended up taking the netting off and the plants are fine. Nothing has touched them. It’s a different variety of kale so maybe the birds don’t like this one? My alpine strawberries are also untouched.

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